Are you working from home due to COVID-19?

Read on for tips on how to remain connected with coworkers and keep productivity flowing even from the comfort of your living room.. 

While many organizations are back to business as usual (or almost usual) in the age of the coronavirus, it’s not surprising to learn that many organizations will continue to work from home. Gartner, Inc. reports that, in a survey of senior finance leaders, 74 percent of companies plan to move 5 percent of their on-site workforce to permanently remote positions.

If you and your organization fall into this category, then surely there’s a lot of adjusting that needs to be done. One of the areas that might be a little more difficult to navigate is that of employee relationships.

Daily interactions with our colleagues can be an essential part of our day-to-day work functions. Whether it’s a team brainstorming or even a chat by the watercooler, our co-workers provide social interaction. They also provide opportunities to enhance our knowledge and skillset.

Are you missing your colleagues during the age of social distancing and working from home? Here are some ways to stay connected, even when you can’t really get together in person.

Get Ideas Flowing with Brainstorming Sessions

Depending on your line of work, you may or may not rely on your colleagues to help you get projects done. If you begin to feel stuck, hold a brainstorming session. Utilize advancements in technology and set up video calls or messaging boards using tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Grab a Coworker for a (Virtual) Lunch Date

A fifteen minute “lunch” with a coworker over Zoom or FaceTime is a great way to build and maintain relationships. Besides, if you’re stuck working at home with your kids, it might be nice to spend some time conversing with an adult. 

Take Advantage of Virtual Happy Hours

They may not be quite the same as regular happy hours, but you can still have a good time. Utilize Zoom to catch up with one another – all while enjoying a homemade drink, or two. Maybe even swap a few recipes while you’re at it, and you’ve got the makings of a quality afternoon.

Engage in Friendly Competitions

Competition is a great way to keep people engaged, test your skills and have a little fun. Whether it’s health related (i.e. who can get the most steps in a day), work related, or even just a fun game of trivia, a little brain boost and some camaraderie might add a little liveliness to your regular work-from-home activities.

Start an Accountability or Social Group

Accountability is a great way to accomplish goals. Perhaps you’re looking to improve your health and fitness while you’re stuck at home. One of your colleagues is probably looking to do the same. Schedule Zoom or socially distant workouts together or share healthy recipes. If you’re looking to improve your professional skillset, join an online workshop. Pick up that bestseller that’s been sitting on your shelf and start a book club. There are several ways you can be connected and work on yourself outside of work-related tasks.

Schedule Socially Distanced Outings for Those Who Feel Comfortable

If you’re fortunate enough to work in the same area as your colleagues (and if you feel comfortable), look into scheduling a socially distanced group outing. Some options include a socially distanced picnic or group bike ride. Even if you have to stand six feet apart and wear masks, there’s something about being physically present with other people that helps make our days at work a little more enjoyable.